Specialty retail is a tough gig.
Knowing a bit about fly fishing, is, most of the time not enough. Even though, To many times I have had to school a shop employee about there products.
I know a couple of owners of VERY well established shops and they still do there own vacuuming and cleaning.
There are probably many good people looking for the same position you are. Bottom line is , you need to be able to provide something of value
. Not just fly fishing knowledge. That part is a no brainer. Marketing, merchandizing, tech support, SEO
, teaching, mentoring and CSR ....but, most importantly, being a trusted adviser.
Understanding VBS(value based selling) is paramount. If utilized correctly your not selling......your customer will be more than happy to purchase from you over and over and they will go out of there way to do so. Never with the uncomfortable felling of being sold. Most refuse to change or retrain....the reason many shops are closed and many more are on the verge.
A couple of years back, I had a shop that was almost to convenient to stop at. It was between home and my favorite stream. I actually HATED to go there. That day I left my floatant and my fav. fly box at home. So, I stop in...get some floatant and tippet. I asked if he had a specific fly....He was a new employee.....Nope...none. A couple of weeks pass and I find myself back needing leader and shot. He see's me and lights up. Said, he couldnt find that fly with any wholesaler......so he tied up a couple of dozen!! Even though I now had plenty....I bought all of them. They also earned me back as a full time customer. That young man is now a very successful manf. rep.
You might be more valuable than you think. Think outside the box and always be thinking WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP....Employee or not!
The others gave GREAT advise. Having folks here like Ard and TT to give advise...well....is priceless.
Good luck, hopefully I will see you in Denver!